The Change (Unbounded, #1) by Teyla Branton
Perfectly adequate PNR.
In this world, some people carry a genetic marker that produces a "change" in them between the ages of 28 and 32: They become unbound, no longer subject to the "boundaries" of time. They begin to age 1-2 years per century, no longer need to eat, and can only be killed by complete dismemberment separating the three energy points in their bodies, and can heal from any lesser injury.
At the beginning of this story, Erin discovers the hardest way possible she is one of these people, after a devastating traffic accident leaves her with third degree burns to most of her body.
- Adults! With everyone of note at least past NA age, there are actual people with careers and families, and rather little of the usual PNR angst.
- No jumping into bed at the slightest provocation, leading to yet more angst. Indeed, a plot point is made of this in fact: Contraception rarely works for the Unbound, so they have to actually be careful who they are knocking boots with.
- Some serious discussion on the difficulties of becoming effectively immortal. And various characters ways of dealing with it.
- Fast paced and full of action and adventure.
- ETA: Forgot one - The cover. An adult woman, of believable proportion, in clothing that is sensible, appropriate, and functional, but still looks pretty good! That never happens!
- The terminology "Unbounded" is clumsy and the explanation given for the term is just as clumsy. Often "Unbound" is used instead, even after an explanation why it's not really right.
- In fact the editing is imperfect. Not just the copy-editing (one character changes name from Laurence to Lawrence and back, right on the same page) but the pacing is... I can't explain it.
- Too many characters suffer from "I can't tell you" syndrome, where they are mysteriously unable to offer up explanations, and others are expected to just "trust me". Except later, they do explain, and I can't see any reason whatsoever that they couldn't have just done so earlier. A major plot point turns on this, when one character puts their entire family in dire peril, because they didn't understand the stakes.
- Actually, the names of the Unbound factions are ridiculous. The Emporium and The Renegades? Please. This really annoyed me, probably far more than it would anyone else so feel free to discount it :)
- Oh of course all the famous people who died young are actually unbound who had to go into hiding. Thank goodness the earliest age of the change is past 27, or all those rock stars from the 27 club would have been in this book too. It worked for the odd name drop down south in Sookie Stackhouse land, but just rings a little gimmicky here. At least Elvis was left out.
I don't know, this was perfectly competent, it just didn't shout at me to go read the rest of the series (there are four, as far as I can tell). And I can see a love triangle (or square) on the horizon, so, probably won't continue the series.